So, a vardo is a small space, especially when living with a dog. The old dog loved sleeping under the rig as she took her guard duties seriously but unfortunately, she is no longer with us. The youngster, on the other hand, has no interest in that sort of nonsense and only wants to be … Continue reading A Dog and Her Vardo
I have needed a stitching pony for a long time now... Like so many other undone projects, this one has been stirring around in my head for several years. Since my efforts have been so focused on sewing leather lately, the time had come for a new and useful tool in the shop. I've looked … Continue reading Making a Stitching Pony
I rarely (I mean almost never) go out of my way to endorse a product of any kind but while considering the upcoming holidays I came across this link I saved a while back. I think it would be perfect for the workshop and is a work of art in its own right. I can … Continue reading The Chart of Hand Tools
Here's a bamboo container I may integrate into the new fishing kit. It's made from a big stalk we got from a friend in Georgia (USA). I plugged the bottom with a poplar stopper and made the lid from a sotol stalk. I've found that the sotal is denser than most yucca but is … Continue reading Bamboo Bait Box
I collect old plans for projects I never seem to get around to making. With winter here, maybe someone would want to build this fine sled. This comes from an old Delta Tool company publication and the procedure is about as simple as can be. I lived on the flat Plains for quite some time … Continue reading A New Sled in Time for Winter!
Expanding on Lessons Learned In 2012 I decided to build a wooden packframe. What started out as a Sunday afternoon project led me down many paths, from Iron-Age Europe to 21st Century military designs and it took about a year of stewing around before I actually got around to building something. It was fortuitous for … Continue reading Wooden Packframe – The Final Draft
Just a short show-and-tell today because I needed a new eating spoon. I lost my old favorite a few weeks ago and as near as I can remember, it was about 20 years old. I remember this because it was cut from the end of a bow stave of a bow I love. Here is … Continue reading Eating Spoon
Dowel Cutter - A useful tool for large-scale production A version of this post appeared here in 2012 but here is an update as prelude to a coming post. I've been using a Veritas dowel and tenon cutter to rough out arrow shafts from planks. Quite a while ago I posted about the jig I … Continue reading Arrows from Planks
Several years ago I starting documenting some of the arrow-making I do. I wrote the original version of this piece in 2012 but as it always draws a lot of interest I have re-edited it and am posting it again. Arrows have been much on my mind after seeing how ratty some of mine have … Continue reading Bamboo Arrow Construction
Some Thoughts on Making Arrows, an Underappreciated Art - I have been making my own arrows from scratch for a couple decades (since 1987 to be precise) and thought I'd showcase some I have made over the past few years. I don't generally make them to sell and I rarely hunt these days but there … Continue reading Arrowology
I love these the old sheepherder camps. I've seen quite a few parked on ranches from Colorado to Idaho and even a few in Arizona. I know they aren't highway capable but it seems they could provide a real housing alternative for low-income minimalists who have access to land. Far better than a housing complex … Continue reading A Fine Old Sheepherder Wagon
Wintergatan - Music, Machines and Homemade Music Instruments from Sweden! I have a fondness for Rube Goldberg machines and clever design. If it is something that actually makes music as well, then I'm all for it. After watching this video I felt a need to find out more so exploring I went. It was a … Continue reading Wintergatan – ex Machina
Coming soon to the blog; New plans for a packable frame saw. In the mean time, check out the link to my older post about making a frame saw from 5 years ago.
In preparation for summer teaching I recently spent some time making a couple new pump drills for demonstrations and hands-on activities. While some modern tools were used in the production, these are entirely hand-made with no purchased parts or plans. As I have only made two of these previously I spent a little time perusing … Continue reading Pump Drills
Here are some good words about responsibility I would like to share from the Northwest Woodworking Studio.
I had this crazy idea about the world and how I’d like to change it today.
Hear me out.
What if folks acted as if they were responsible for their actions? That whatever they did out in the world had a pond and ripple effect? That they are not alone on their computer, on a phone, in their world, entitled to more of everything at the expense of everyone else?
It would be like working at the bench if you will allow me. Where when you screw something up you are the one who did this. You are the one who has to fix it. You can’t turn to your neighbor, the car next to you or the bike rider, big business or the government, or your sad upbringing and history and blame them for it. You have to take responsibility for who you are and where you are in…
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Okay dammit. Now I have to make some of these…
While researching “Ingenious Mechanicks” Chris Schwarz and I found many workbenches with face vises and some of them actually had vise nuts.
In the montage above there are selections from paintings from Spain, Italy and what is now present-day Ecuador. As you can see, they range from the basic steering wheel to the curvy hurricane. The nut on the lower left is the shape Chris chose for his Holy Roman/Löffelholz workbench (and he provides the pattern in the book).
My particular favorite is a form that may have originated in Spain and made its way to Spain’s New World colonies: the double-bunny ear. The double-bunny ear provides an easy grip for tighting or loosening the vise.
The top right image is from a 17th-century Spainish painting. The next two vice nuts on the right are late 19th-to-early 20th century from Guatemala and Mexico. The vise nut on the left is of…
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Finally, after stepping away from this little project for two months, I'm nearly finished with this wooden noggin cup. I set it down in despair early on when the block started to check along the radial grain. Luckily though, storing it in a moist bag seems to have saved the project and I was able … Continue reading Wooden Mug, the end is in sight
If it takes five times, build it five times. I feel this sentiment almost everyday. I think that means we really care about what we do.
The book that became “Chairmaker’s Notebook” began as a chat with chairmakers Peter Galbert and Curtis Buchanan. We made a plan to produce a video of Curtis building a chair that would be accompanied by a pamphlet from Peter illustrating the construction details.
But that’s not why I remember that meeting with Peter and Curtis. Instead, I am continuously struck by something Curtis said to me in that cabin in Berea, Ky. Curtis began talking about teaching woodworking.
“We’re all not as good as people think we are,” he said. “We’re all frauds.”
This was Curtis Expletive Deleted Buchanan. A guy who has more skill than 10 magazine-grade woodworkers. And he was sitting before me explaining that – like all human beings – he has insecurities…
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Greg, over at Hillbilly Daiku is always posting great stuff. There is too much good information out there and not enough time to take it all in while still leading a creative and fulfilling life so it takes me a while to catch up. I was just reading this excellent post about something dear to … Continue reading More Cigar Box Guitar
My friend Bob sent me a link to an excellent video documenting the construction of a Spanish (i.e. Classical) Guitar. The man is obviously a real craftsman with a purpose-built shop and this is definitely not a one-off project. If you are like me and like to see how things are made, this half hour … Continue reading Making a Spanish Guitar in the 21st Century